LG Mobile Payment Platform to Launch in December; Samsung Pay Coming to Cheaper Handsets
Once upon a time, it would have been odd to head to the supermarket without a pocket full of cash bank notes and loose change. But these days, it’s normal not just to leave your wallet behind, but to leave your credit or debit card at home too, instead choosing to pay for everything using the wireless payment service on your mobile phone. Last year, Apple catapulted mobile payments into public consciousness with Apple Pay as people began to use their iPhones to pay for everything, (everything under the $25/£30 limit at least) and soon it seems that the mobile payment sector is set to expand even more.
One major player set to join the quickly growly mobile payment market is South Korean electronics maker LG. The company recently confirmed the information to publication The Korea Times that not only are they currently developing the payment platform, but that it’s likely to go live next month. Unfortunately, there are few details to go on at the moment but it’s being suggested by some that the service will first launch in LG’s home country and that the company is currently in talks with two of South Korea’s biggest credit card companies, Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card with deals having been signed today (Thursday, November 19).
On the one hand, LG’s decision to get into the mobile payments market makes sense (it makes sense to do so in their home country, at least). It has recently been suggested that LG’s profit margins in the country are being massively eaten into with one mobile carrier, SK Telecom, slashing the prices of the company’s high-end smartphones. Not only that, but the LG V10 (which has a second screen and dual, front-facing cameras) hasn’t sold particularly well in the country and one Korean analyst said that sales of the LG G4 are also down, unable to reach the success of the LG G3 the year before. So setting up a mobile payments service would help them recapture some of their lost profits, albeit in a relatively low risk way.
LG’s biggest competition, though, will come from fellow South Korean company Samsung, which is also looking to expand its mobile payments service, Samsung Pay. According to another report from South Korea, Samsung hopes to bring more of its headline-grabbing features to more of its affordable phones. An unnamed source told the Korea Herald that “Samsung is planning to deploy fingerprint sensors in budget smartphone models” and although there was no specific definition on what classed a “budget” model as ‘budget’, that should be a welcome decision for those with less disposable income.
It’s also being said that Samsung’s mid-range and low-end phones will get Samsung Pay during the first half of 2016, which perhaps explains why LG is so keen to get their payment service out of the door now, to avoid being buried under the impending Samsung Pay expansion.
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